Fewer tourists satisfied with customer service in Singapore

Tourists take photographs at the Merlion park in Singapore.

SINGAPORE - Customer satisfaction for both the food and beverage (F&B) and tourism sectors has significantly declined in the past year, according to findings from a Customer Satisfaction Index of Singapore.

Compiled by the Insitute of Service Excellence (ISES), customer satisfaction for the food & beverage (F&B) sector fell by 6.5 per cent to 65.8 points, while the tourism sector registered a dip of 7.3 per cent to 69.1 points.

ISES Director Caroline Lim said: "These lower scores could be a case of correction as companies transition to new business models, with consumers taking time to adapt to new norms in how service is delivered and experienced."

A decline in scores for restaurants, as well as the cafes and bars sub-sector, pulled down F&B's overall score.

Restaurants registered a large decline of 10.5 per cent, while the cafes & snack bars sub-sector fell 6.8 per cent.

The biggest reason for the drop in scores is unsatisfied tourists, who gave all five F&B sub-sectors measured in the survey lower ratings.

Reasons for lower ratings include dissatisfaction with bill timeliness and accuracy, cleanliness, food quality, ease of reservation, and the time taken to receive food.

In contrast, local customers indicated improved restaurant touchpoints compared to 2013.

In the attractions sector, both locals and tourists gave lower ratings, but for distinctly different reasons. Local customers gauged their ratings by expectations, while tourists did so through perceived quality.

According to Ms Lim, the results of the study indicate that businesses should review their operating model and produce consistent and reliable service.

The survey results were drawn from 8,600 interviews conducted between June and Sept 2014. The index reports customer satisfaction across nine key economic sectors in Singapore, covering up to three sectors each quarter. It is in its seventh year.